Sarah-Beth Long

Academic Specialty:

Rhetoric & Technical Communications


  • Ph.D., English, University of South Florida · 2012-2015
  • Graduate Certificates: Instructional Design, Technical and Professional Writing
  • M.A. Literature, Mercy College · 2012
  • M.A. Creative Writing, Lancaster University · 2001 (with distinction)
  • B.A. Journalism, Florida Southern College · 2000

Selected Publications:

Nonfiction Books

  • Deadfall: Mountain Mysticism, Moonshine, and the Mullins massacre of 1892. Indiana University Press. 2019.
  • Woman at the Devil's Door. Indiana University Press | Mango Books UK. 2017


  • Walton, R. Hopton, S.B. (2018). "All Vietnamese Men Are Brothers: Rhetorical Strategies and Community Engagement Practices used to Support Victims of Agent Orange." Technical Communication. Forthcoming.
  • Hopton, Sarah Beth. Saving the Sea, Socially: How the Roatan Marine Park Uses Social Media and the Laws of New Power to Educate, Inspire, and Engage Global Audiences. Communication Design Quarterly. July, 2016.
  • Herndl, Carl, Hopton, Sarah Beth, Cruse, Rick, Polush, Elaina, Shelley, Mack. “The Rhetorical Challenges and Methodological Opportunities in Facilitating Citizen Participation in Technology Assessment and Development”. Places of Persuasion: Studying Rhetoric in the Field. University of Alabama Press. 2018.
  • “Evidence of Things Not Seen: Mapping Sentiment Across Time in Unstructured Texts about the Herbicide Agent Orange.” SIGDOC Conference Proceedings. September 2014.
  • Santos, Marc C., Bieze, Ella R. , Cagle, Lauren E., Carabelli, Jason, Dixon, Zachary P., Hopton, Sarah-Beth, Gay, Kristen N., McIntyre, Megan M. “Our Electrate Stories: Explicating Ulmer's MyStory.” Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy. 18.2 (2014): n. page. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. <>.
  • “Rebooting Revision: Leveraging Technology to Deliver Formative and Summative Feedback. ” Exploring Technology in Writing and Writing Instruction. Eds. Kristine Pytash and Rick Ferdig. Ohio: IGI Global, June 2013.
  • “If Not Me, Who? Ethical Praxis in Technical Communication.” Ed. Rosario Durao. Connexions International Professional Communications Journal. 1(1), 0-00. ISSN 2325-6044. 2012.

Published Conference Proceedings

  • Hopton, Sarah Beth & Wilkes, James. "Hivemind: Service Learning, Social Enterprise, and Technical Communication." Conference Proceedings. PROCOM. Austin, Tx. October, 2016. [DOI forthcoming]
  • Hopton, Sarah Beth & Parry, Mitch. "Measuring the Validity of Algorithms to Automatically Categorize Facebook Content." Conference Proceedings. SIGDOC. Silvespring, MD. September, 2016.


"From the Sublime to Destruction: An Introduction to Overburden and Interview with Documentarian Chad A. Stevens." Cold Mountain Review 44.2 (Spring 2016). Co-conducted with Zack Vernon.

Summer Research Project

Sarah-Beth Hopton in Vietnam with Rebecca Walton

Through generous support from Appalachian State University's Research Council and the College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Hopton and Dr. Rebecca Walton spent a month touring 11 provinces in Northern and Central Vietnam studying the stakeholder engagement practices of the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange, (VAVA).

Conference Presentations

  • "Forging Multi-institutional Partnerships: Lessons Learned in Designing a Multi-Year Collaborative Field Study." CPTSC. Savannah, GA. September, 2016.
  • "Measuring the Validity of Algorithms to Automatically Categorize Facebook Content." SIGDOC. September, 2016.
  • "Hivemind: Service Learning, Social Enterprise, and Technical Communication." Conference Proceedings. PROCOM. Austin, Tx. October, 2016.
  • “Evidence of Things Not Seen: Mapping Sentiment in Unstructured Texts about the Herbicide Agent Orange”. The Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group (SIG) on the Design of Communication (DOC). September, 2014.
  • “Recruiting the NextGen Technical Communicator.” Council of Technical and Professional Communications. September, 2014.
  • “Significant Ghosts: Mapping Arguments in the Debate on Agent Orange/herbicides from Congressional Testimony.” Association of Rhetoric and Science and Technology/Rhetoric Society of America. San Antonio, Texas, May 2014.
  • “Evidence of Things Not Seen: Using big data to map changes of sentiment across time.” Association of Teachers of Technical Writing. March, 2014.
  • “Topic and Frame Analysis of the Vietnamese News Media’s Coverage of Agent Orange, 2006-2014.” International Social Network Analysis. February, 2014.
  • “Using Provalis for Thematic Mapping; Using ORA to visualize social networks.” Big Data & Writing Studies Colloquium at the University of South Florida. Tampa, Florida, January, 2014.
  • “Targeted Technical Communications: A Case Study of Customized Pedagogy.” Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication. Cincinnati, Ohio, October 2013.
  • “Evidence of Things Not Seen: Visualizing Networks of Text in the Debate about Agent Orange.” International Network for Social Network Analysis. Hamburg, Germany, May, 2013.
  • “Revision Rebooted, The Practicalities of Using New Media Tools to offer Formative Feedback”. The University of Florida University Writing Program Conference “Classroom Matters: Pedagogy in Philosophy and Practice.” Gainesville, Florida. 2012.
  • “The Promise and Peril of ePub”. SLOAN Consortium on International Conference in Online Education. Orlando, Florida. October, 2012.
  • “Maps That Change the World: Social Network Analysis and the Social Action Composition Project”. EGSA University of South Florida. “Reconceptualizing Cartography: Space-Time Compression and Narrative Mapping.” Tampa, Florida. (2012)

Research Funding, Grants, Scholarships, and Awards:

  • $5,000 University Research Council Grant
  • $2,000 Humanities Council Grant
  • $1,500 Office of International Education & Development Grant
  • $2,000 Mountain West Grant
  • "Stakes vs. Interests in Technical Democracy". $150,000. Under review with the National Science Foundation. In collaboration with Scott Graham, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin.
  • Alma Bryant Outstanding Graduate Student Award, The University of South Florida, 2014
  • USF 21st Century Teaching Fellowship, University of South Florida, $20,000.Competitive.
  • Community Research Alliance Travel Grant, USF, May 2012. $500. Competitive.
  • Rotary International Scholarship, Rotary Intl' Inc., $28,000. 2000-2001. Highly competitive.


  • 2016 Rhetoric/Composition & Professional & Technical Writing Committee, Interim Co-Chair
  • 2016 Appalachian State University Humanities Council, Member
  • 2016 SIGDOC Promotional Committee Member
  • 2015-2016 Technical Writing Committee, Member
  • 2015-2016 Visiting Writers Series

Professional Development:

  • Social Change Marketing Conference. Florida. June 2014.
  • Sentiment Analysis Symposium. The Academy of Sciences. New York. March 2014.
  • Summer Institute: Computational Analysis of Social and Organizational Systems. Carnegie Mellon University. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Summer, 2012.
  • Courses in: Introduction to SNA; Social Network for Behavior Change; Mixed Methods Research Design; Introduction to Using Twitter in Social Network Analysis. International Network for Social Network Analysis. Hamburg, Germany, May, 2013.

Film & Television:

NBC Investigation Discovery: "Bloody Marys." Air date: October 31, 2013.
Interviewed as expert on the crime and trial of Mary Pearcey, British murderess who suffered a rare form of temporal lobe epilepsy that likely caused her to committed two murders in the 1890s. Used content analysis of newspapers to interrogate the social construction of the British "murderess".


  • 2016 Honors Thesis by Jessica Burch entitled, "Digital Disruption in the Publishing Industry"
  • 2015 Master's Thesis Defense by Cheryl Laws entitled, "Reintegration Strategies to Mitigate Child Abuse and Neglect by Substance Abusers in West Virginia Communities | Committee Member

Sarah Beth joined the Appalachian State University faculty in 2015. Prior to her appointment at ASU, she was a graduate teaching assistant at the University of South Florida where she won the Provost’s 21st Century Teaching and Learning award. Her research focuses on discourse analysis and data science methodologies to research discourses generated over controversial and complicated scientific issues like climate change, sustainability practices and Agent Orange. She is a graduate of Lancaster University’s Creative Writing program, and holds a BA from Florida Southern College in Journalism. She was the 2000-2001 Rotary Ambassadorial scholar from district 6890. Sarah Beth teaches Technical Communications, Business and Professional Writing. She is an avid runner and nonfiction writer, and has a forthcoming book about the British murderess Mary Pearcey. Prior to entering the academy, she was managing partner in a successful public affairs firm in Tampa ( and presently consults with associations and nonprofit organizations on using social media to effect social change (

Title: Associate Professor, Internship Director
Department: Department of English

Email address: Email me

Phone: (828) 262-7111

Office address
Sanford Hall 536